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How to drink Asturian cider? Spanish sidra


The Spanish drinks are very popular all over the world, you may have heard about the famous wines or the popular sangria, but the Spanish sidra is not that known all over the world. It´s true that inside Spain is one of the most popular drinks and there are many particularities about this drink. Today, we will be teaching you how to drink Asturian cider, how to pour it, how to make it, its history, traditions and much more!

What is Spanish cider?

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The word cider has different meanings depending on where you ask. Although it´s true that in the cider is always an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of apples, the way of making the cider is different in each country.

The cider can be made with different types of apples, but the “cider apples” are the perfect ones to make it. In each country there is a minimum of alcohol to consider it cider, for example in the UK the cider must have at least 35% of apple juice, but in the US the minimum is 50%.

So…What is Spanish cider? The Spanish cider is mainly made with indigenous crabapple and then mixed with other varieties of apple to make it sweeter. You should also know that the cider in Spain is not as sweet as in other places, because they never add any additives (like sugar or yeast)

Different types of cider

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Although traditionally there was just one way of making cider in Spain, now you can find two different types of cider:

Natural cider making

A cider is known as natural when the process of making it is pure natural, and that means there are no substances added. No substances added means no carbonation, no sugar and no yeast. The yeast of the natural cider is the one found in the apples.

The natural cider is the one you will find all across Spain as it´s the traditional sider of the country and most people prefer it that way.

No natural cider

The rest of the process to make cider are consider no natural. Nowadays, more people are starting to enjoy the sweeter cider as it has sugar and is not so hard as the natural one.

Other types of cider

Other than these two types of cider, you can also find varieties of cider depending on the apple is used to make it. There are 76 kinds of apples accepted in Spain for the making of Asturian cider and of course each type is different.

How to make Asturian cider?

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Believe it or not the process of making cider in Asturias is not as hard as you thought. First of all, you will need to chop and wash the apples before you softened them in water. After the apples are fed to cattle, the apple juice Is fermented until it has a level of alcohol between 4.5% and 6%. You will then leave it to ferment during half of the year (cold season), until it´s done!

Traditional Spanish cider in Asturias

The cider is the reason of many traditions in Spain, generally in Asturias where is very symbolic. Many people would only visit the region of Asturias to try their delicious cider or to experience one of the traditions that happen during the year because of the drink.

Asturian cider festival:
Espicha Asturiana

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The Espicha Asturiana is an Asturian cider festival, actually, is consider one of the most important cider festivals in the world. This festival is a meeting of friends and families that get together one time per year to try the first cider of the season. This cider comes straight from the barrels. They also bring food from the Asturian region (cheese, hams and bread) and celebrate it. Once the festival is over, if the cider passes the test, then it will be ready to be sold a few months later.

Pouring cider in Asturias

Have you ever seen an Asturian escanciador? Haven´t you wonder why they pour their Asturian cider that way? Well there is a reason why they serve the cider like that.

Pouring cider in Asturias is also an important tradition, and not just a tradition, it´s very important for the taste of the cider. The Spanish cider is always served from a great distance as that allows the air bubbles into the drink. They pour a very small amount at a time and then they repeat the process, that way you will be able to experience the authentic flavor of cider.

How to drink Asturian cider?

It may sound stupid, but there is a specific way of drinking Asturian cider. As you have seen they are very cautious doing everything related to their Spanish sidra, and that includes the drinking. You should keep this in mind when learning how to drink Asturian cider:

  1. A perfect temperature for drinking cider is between 10 to 14 degrees, which is cold but not too cold.
  2. The glasses where you served the cider, should be small and made with a very thin glass.
  3. The whole bottle of cider should be drunk at once as soon as you open it. Cider is a type of drink that oxidizes quickly…and you don´t want that.
  4. Normally you will drink small amount of cider at a time and not a full glass.

Where to buy Spanish cider?

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If you ever visit Spain, we recommend you visiting some of the most popular places to drink cider. Not just in Asturias but also in other places of Spain.

In Oviedo, Asturias, you should go to Sidreria Gascona and if you are looking for a good place in Madrid, you should go to  the restaurant Couzapin 

The history of cider making

Where is the cider from?? It´s said it was the Greeks and the Romans the ones who invented the art of making cider. Other people said that it was in England where cider was invented and then the Romans brough it to the rest of Europe and it became popular in Asia as well.

By a great majority, as the origin of cider is quite unknown cider is considered traditionally from Spain, as it´s where sider is more elaborated and had been doing it for a long time.

In Spain cider is popular in the north, of course Asturian cider is the most famous one, but it´s also very common in the Basque Country, in Galicia and in Cantabria.

Enjoy drinking the cider of Asturias!

That´s all you need to know about the Spanish sidra, hope you enjoyed learning how to drink Asturian cider and everything related to it. Don´t forget to try it, if you ever visit Spain! If you have any question or suggestion, please let us know!